12 Apr 2005

Rebuilding materials on way to northern Cook Islands battered by cyclone

3:57 pm on 12 April 2005

The rebuilding of homes on the northern Cook Islands islands of Pukapuka and Nassau is to begin early next week, six weeks after cyclone Percy struck.

The chief disaster management officer, Metuatini Tangaroa, says a boat is to leave Rarotonga later this week, loaded with building materials and tradespeople, and should arrive on Pukapuka four days later.

He says supplies of water and food are continuing to be sent to the islands but the focus is now turning to getting houses rebuilt.

"When the boat arrives into Pukapuka, then they will prioritise in terms of the distribution and also with the workers as well, which homes to be attended to first, and so forth. In regards of the quantity of the material, that was based on the quote from all the homes that was damaged."

Mr Tangaroa says a tender has been put out for private contractors to fix government and community buildings.

And, he says both the primary and high school, which are located on the same site, have now re-opened.